CD: OPN CD04 [2005]
Ltd x 500

An Upstair Window
Fountain Of Night
Night Chorus
Green Flame
Night Ride
Strange Lights Appear
Reaching (For The Saints)
A Winter Flower
Our Dead
A Cold Bed
Glowing Across
Frozen Light

The newest album for Harvest Rain, the American dark folk purveyors from gloom and marsh clogged byways of South Carolina, sees a development in the style of haunting they have descried throughout a decade of verve. On "Night Chorus" the Thompkins' brothers invoke the appearance of Axel Frank (Werkraum) and the cross-disciplinary, Tor Lundvall, who not only contributes vocals and disquieting soundscapes but also designed the dark windswept illustration of girl and raven that graces the disc.

Sparse, evanescent instrumentation glides across the autumnally bleached fields of "Night Chorus" populated with its abandoned scarecrows and dilapidated farmsteads, warped and deformed echoes of pastoral inheritance. Synthesized sounds feature prominently throughout the album, a gloaming occluding the more organic elements of Harvest Rain's previous folk characteristics, they swallow with a mouth moon wide. Not that acoustic instrumentation is banished under the dross of swampland, it rather serves as a facet of a hypnotic whole, accumulating in an overall dreamlike quality that is further engendered by smothered low-fi mixing. Beauty and sadness drape the blighted landscape while the tempo for the most part remains palpably adagio, percussion is minimal and swims in murky reverb with most melody; one is reminded betimes of Death in June's "But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter?".

With this latest album it would have been nice to feel the full force of a professionally rich production to stimulate the full range of aural sensibilities, the hidden elemental forces within the work almost beg to be released, and the production conspires to drag the album back a decade. Withal mixing issues aside, Harvest Rain's latest will appeal to those seeking new dark folk entries into the American market that is overshadowed by Europe's heritage. Released in a jewelcase with a monochromatic eight-page booklet featuring full lyric sheets.


[Harvest Rain] / [OPN]

Direct Link: http://www.auralpressure.com/review/h/harvest_rain_night_chorus.html

Other Reviews:

Harvest Rain [Night's Glow]
Harvest Rain: [Songs From Evening]

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